Project Better Place Buys 100k Renaults

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Better Place founder Shai Agassi brags that his firm’s purchase of 100,000 Electric Renault Meganes is the first such mega-buy since the Ford Model T. Better Place’s cell phone-inspired battery leasing infrastructure hits Israel and Denmark next year, and Agassi insists that “real customers will be driving real cars” by the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Sep 16, 2009

    I feel that this business model is the only one that could possibly allow significant market penetration by EVs. All the big industries have a place at the table. Utilities get a place to store major megawatts generated off-hours, manufacturers can be cranking out EVs and battery packs for decades, and the consumer doesn't have to pay up front for the battery packs. But, yes, the big question is whether automakers can settle on a very limited number of battery packs to build around. I fear that the US makers will be late to the game by trying to stay with proprietary systems long after everyone else agrees to standardize.

  • Auto insurance man Auto insurance man on Sep 17, 2009

    “real customers will be driving real cars” I hope the real cost of the vehicle drops so real customers can buy them.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Sep 17, 2009

    I hereby volunteer to be the midsouth test driver... VBG!

  • Quadrifoglio Quadrifoglio on Sep 17, 2009

    I agree with ClutchCarGo - this is the better business model for EVs, even though long-lead capital costs would be significant. If only there was enough $$ and interest to support an open wheel race series with quick change battery powered cars; it could be a great way to introduce and prove-up the quick change concept to automotive enthusiasts and early adopters. The IRL has nothing else going for it right now anyway, and Formula One is reeling from manufacturer withdrawals and a race-fixing scandal. I'd watch the race - even if the cars had some of the new audio enhancers the blogs have talked about. But could a sponsor/ potential market participant like ExxonMobil or BP, or some windymill-heavy utility looking to sell a save-the-world message, make enough marketing hay?